JAMIE QUESTIONS THE PREMIER ON DONATION REFORM

My question is directed to the Premier. Considering the recent evidence presented at the Independent Commission Against Corruption, does his Government support the principle that associated entities, such as the Free Enterprise Foundation, should be banned from making political donations?

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY QUESTION TIME – 8 MAY 2015

Mr JAMIE PARKER: My question is directed to the Premier. Considering the recent evidence presented at the Independent Commission Against Corruption, does his Government support the principle that associated entities, such as the Free Enterprise Foundation, should be banned from making political donations?

Mr MIKE BAIRD: I thank the member for his question and interest in this matter. I have answered the question this week in Parliament, but I make the following point: My interest in donation reform is public for everyone to see. It was my privilege to come into this place in 2007. I remember the day I walked through that door. As every member knows, it is a privilege to come here. When a new member makes an inaugural speech, he or she often outlines the issues that brought that person to this place, the issues that concern that person, the issues about which that person is passionate and things that person wants to change in this State.

In my inaugural speech I identified clearly that I wanted to change the donation system because, to use my words, it was at a corrosive level in New South Wales. Certainly, from evidence seen before and since that date, I maintain that strong belief. The following year I made a submission about public funding. I was proud also then as part of this Government to bring to this House donation reform under the former Premier seeking to limit the influence of donations. It was a genuine attempt. The High Court knocked back that reform for reasons I will not go into now. In addressing the member's concern, I say that as Premier of this State I remain concerned about donations. I will take actions and this Government will take actions to ensure they are reduced.

Mr John Robertson: When?

Mr MIKE BAIRD: We will do it in a considered and responsible way that impacts on the whole of New South Wales.


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